After a long weekend of whatever it is you might get up to on the weekend, there is a certain amount of disappointment that is inevitable on a Monday morning. Beyond the simple Garfield-esque hatred of Mondays lies a sort of existential dilemma.
The fun is over, you return to your job (or lack there of), the whole week stretches before you like some lonely track of desert highway and you think "Why am I doing this again?" Before you know it you are pondering what nothingness is made of and arguing with the Jehovah’s Witness who shares yours cubicle about whether Heaven is "full" or not…or something like that. In other words, Mondays can suck pretty bad and it would help to have something more than aderal and "Hang in there!" posters to get you going.
Fear not ye crest fallen rat race contestant, Nic Askew has a little inspiration for you (rhyme intended).
His site, monday9am.tv , delivers a fresh new "film" every Monday at 9 am, right when you could most use a little purpose. The films, which are mostly just short interviews inter-cut with title cards written by Nic, tend to focus on the uber-positive: self-awareness, curiosity, embracing life, over coming fear, and other hits from the self-help section.
Now don’t get me wrong. I’m as cynical as a blind man at a strip club most days but remarkably, these normally butt clenching topics are handled in an honest sincere way that doesn’t make me want to pull an Oedipus (gorging out eyes, not sleeping with mom).
###Nic is able to take a snapshot the soul of an interviewee in only a few minutes. While the sentiments expressed on the title cards are a little heavy handed, Nic keeps himself completely out of the interview. This simple format allows the subject to be the entire soul of the piece with Nic’s written thoughts working as a guide for the intellect.
I heard about the site from a very new-agey friend and was surprised such a hippy was sending me a video of Seth Godin, the renowned marketing guru. But the video, simply entitled ‘curiosity'(sic), felt more Dahli Lama than Tony Robbins. The idea that curiosity is the antithesis of fundamentalism is an interesting way to look at the Yin and Yang of things.
After watching the entire video I found myself wondering how I could be less dogmatic in my own life. I wondered what things I had let myself ‘believe’ without ever challenging. I wondered how I could do better. Then it hit me: That film just inspired the shit out of me.
Nic, a 43 year old Engishman living in the states, interviews anybody he feels might have something to offer. There are holocaust survivors, famous musicians, cancer patients, reality show contestants, even random people on the street, and focusing on the aspect that comments on the human condition.
In one video he interviews a man who speaks no English to prove that there is some sort of universal language. Watching this old grizzled Guatemalan tell stories about his bad eye and the difficult life he lead, I was surprised to find myself following every bit of his story even though my command of Mayan dialect is a little rusty.
Nic will soon be starting another web site called SoulBiographies.com. Monday 9am will still exist, the film maker just plans on expanding his scope. in his own words: "The style may evolve, the places to see widen, and they may include many characters who we presume we already know – but I suspect that we don’t." Sweet.
Nic’s bumper cards ask pointed questions like "Do you need someone else to feel complete?" and "What do you see when you look in the mirror?". In any other circumstance questions like these would best be answered with a jab to the nose. But watching these people as they unfold themselves for Nic can help even the most cynical of us get over our case of the Mondays.